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Everton's Davies relishing 'massive' Merseyside derby as he signals intent to stick with the Toffees

10:30 SAST 2019/03/03
Tom Davies Adidas
The 20-year-old Liverpudlian midfielder says he can't wait to go up against Jurgen Klopp's title-chasing Reds, and says he sees his future at Goodison

Tom Davies says Sunday’s “massive” Merseyside derby will be an opportunity not just for Everton to find some much needed consistency, but to dent Liverpool’s hopes of winning the title.

The Toffees have endured a difficult season so far but could win back-to-back Premier League matches for the first time since October when their city rivals visit Goodison Park this weekend.

The Reds, on the other hand, are in a tight battle with Manchester City at the top of the table with 10 games to go and have not lost to Everton since 2010, but local lad Davies insists he and his team-mates will be up for the challenge.

“It’s a massive game,” he told Goal . “The whole city loves them and I’ll be up for it so for me it’s a big game and a chance to show everyone how good you are.

“They’re doing well, they obviously need to keep it up and we’re looking to keep going in the league and try to beat them so it’ll definitely be one they want to win and we want to stop them from winning.

“It’s a game that can go any way, form goes out the window and it comes down to the game really. We’ll definitely be up for it, as Liverpool will as well, so it should be exciting to watch.

“It’ll be a massive game and I can’t wait for it.”

Davies, 20, became the youngest captain in Everton history in a Carabao Cup clash with Rotherham earlier in the season and he has worn the arm band five times in the Premier League since.

While he acknowledges that he has found it tough to “get in the groove” after being in and out of the side under Marco Silva this season, he says he wants to stay at his boyhood club for the rest of his career.

“Yeah of course,” he said. “It’s the team I’ve grown up supporting and I love. There’s no reason for me to move and I love being here, so for me it’s definitely somewhere I want to stay.

“We’ve got a few leaders in the dressing room and it’s something I’d like to do myself one day, especially as I’ve had my time being captain, so I’d like to be like that in the dressing room definitely.”

Everton are ninth in the table and have only won four of their last 15 games stretching back to the start of December, but Davies says it has not been easy for himself or his team-mates to find their rhythm after so much overhaul at the club.

The youngster made his senior debut at the end of the 2015-16 season and has already worked under four different permanent managers in his time in the first-team set-up, with Roberto Martinez, Ronald Koeman, Sam Allardyce and now Silva all trying to implement their own - sometimes very different - styles.

And while new boss Silva has come under pressure in his first season in charge due to Everton’s results, Davies says the amount of upheaval at the club in recent years needs to be taken into account.

“We know we can do better,” he added. “We’ve had a lot of changes in the last few years, this year has been about getting a bit of stability back.

“We’ve shown some good performances and some not so good so it’s just trying to find that consistency for the rest of the season now and we’re just going to try to win as many games as we can.

“If there’s a lot of change it’s hard for people to get in the groove. For me playing it’s been like that, it’s been tough to find my form really with all the changes going on and being in and out of the side, so yeah I don’t think people take that into consideration, how many changes we’ve had.

“I think we just need a bit more time to figure out our playing style now and get that going on the pitch.”

There is a silver lining for Davies, however, as he believes that trying to tailor his approach to so many different coaches in such a short period of time will set him up to be a more rounded player in the coming years.

“You learn a lot from each different manager really and they’ve had a lot of different styles, types of play and ways of managing and how they want you to play," said the midfielder.

“For me it’s been good, I’ve learnt a lot about myself really, by being in those situations so it’s all there for me now in the future.”

One of the biggest influences in his fledgling career has been Gareth Barry.

Davies broke into the Everton team as a 17-year-old and he says Barry, who has more Premier League appearances than any other player, helped guide him through games.

“I definitely learnt a lot from a lot of players, but I would say Gareth Barry, he helped my game a lot really just by having him behind me and playing with him," said Davies. "He would always talk to me and tell me, bring me that calmness that I needed in my game.

“He would always be there if I was beaten or if I’d mess up, he would always help me out. And likewise when attacking, if I was in position he would find me. For me he’s been a big one, he’s one of those where you don’t realise how good he is until you play with him.

“Whenever I played with him he stood up for me, I could go forward as much as I wanted and he would always be behind me.”

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